Most Christians are taught from an early age that the Jews murdered Jesus because he was a threat to the Jewish leadership. While Temple leaders might have wanted Jesus out of the way because his teaching undermined priestly authority, they did not have the power, in Roman-occupied Judea, to impose a death sentence. It was – drum roll please – the Romans who held that power. Furthermore, they crucified Jesus not because he was a threat to the power of the Jewish religious leaders, but because he was a threat to Roman power.
Despite the fact that this is all in scripture, many Christians ignore these facts and misrepresent the complex power dynamics surrounding Jesus’ death because it justifies their own deeply-rooted antisemitism. A narrative portraying Jews as tricksters who work in the media and the banking industry to disrupt the happy lives of white people is enough to make you distrust your Jewish neighbor, but if you can be convinced that they killed your Lord and Savior, then you can be convinced to revile and hate them.
Evangelical Christians profess their love for their Jewish friends, relatives, and even the State of Israel, but they genuinely do not give a shit. Their claimed affection for Jews and the State of Israel is just a shallow attempt at feigning love for Christ, while at the end of the day waiting for the moment to put Jesus’ teaching to rest six feet under.
That opportunity arrived in 2016. Donald Trump was elected the President of the United States on a platform proclaiming that individual rights, especially for the rich, are more important than your neighbor’s well-being. The words of Christ were essentially replaced by the words of Ayne Rand:
“If it is true that what I mean by ‘selfishness’ is not what is meant conventionally, then this is one of the worst indictments of altruism: it means that altruism permits no concept of a self-respecting, self-supporting man—a man who supports his life by his own effort and neither sacrifices himself nor others.”
While Jesus called for us to take care of the strangers in our own land, Donald Trump, the god that white people have always wanted, called for us to imprison and ignore the needs of the strangers who entered our land desperately looking for hope.
I have never been more disappointed in friends, family, neighbors and myself for ever being associated with the Evangelical movement. We are supposed to be a selfless, loving, and forgiving people. But instead, we have embraced selfishness and hate. A hate that may have been taught to us for centuries, but a hate that we could easily shed if we only wanted to.
November 2020 might be the moment when Jesus is finally placed in the grave for eternity, never to rise again. White Christians are pissing away whatever integrity they might once have had as they continue to ignore the children locked in cages on our southern border for nearly two years. The teachings of Christ lose their credibility when Republicans and conservatives, supposedly those that love Christ, deny their neighbors access to healthcare just because they neighbor worship differently, have skin of a different color, or dare to identify as a gender that fails to correlate with their physical sex.
True Christian principles are embracing. But 2000 years ago, the Romans said “fuck your peace and love bullshit.” And now, in 2020, white America is sticking with that message by denying and dismissing the love that Jesus was.